Remembering Don Shula

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As I sit down and reflect on the news of legendary Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula’s passing, I felt yet again that a part of my childhood was lost. Lost to only memories now. I won’t get to see Coach Shula in his golf cart driving around Hard Rock Stadium, or as it once was Joe Robbie Stadium.

Like so many older Dolphins fans, it took a while to adjust to this stadium, for all of our early memories were of the Orange Bowl. That is where the real magic was. That is where it all began. During the late ’60s and ’70s, Don Shula’s name was a mainstay in our household. Going to Dolphins game became so religious that all our neighbors would think we were heading off to church.

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Is the AFC East up for grabs?

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Since the departure of quarterback Tom Brady from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the AFC East now is considered “up for grabs”.  So which team is poised and ready to take over the reins?

Buffalo Bills

With the Miami Dolphins in full rebuild mode and the Jets still finding their nitch with second-year Head Coach Adam Gase, the Bills are poised and are deemed the heavy favorites to take over the AFC East. Fourth-year head coach Sean McDermott brought the Buffalo Bills to a 10-6 record and second in the AFC East in 2019. With the aid of a departing Brady and a solid draft class(see below) for 2020, the Buffalo Bills and their Bills Mafia fan base are ready for an AFC East take-over.

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Miami Dolphins Draft assault continues Day Two

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As the Miami Dolphins approached rounds two and three of the 2020 NFL Draft, they held two picks in the second round (39-56 picks overall), followed by the 70th pick in round 3.

With the 39th pick, the Miami Dolphins selected Louisiana tackle, Robert Hunt. This guy is a beast. At 6’5″ and 323 pounds, Hunt played mostly right tackle for the Ragin Cajuns. Miami was sure to add more protection for their star pick, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who just happens to be a left-handed quarterback.

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Miami Dolphins lay the foundation on day one of the 2020 NFL Draft

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Coming into the 2020 NFL Draft with three picks in the first round, the Miami Dolphins were poised to make some noise. There were rumors swirling all day about the Dolphins moving up to secure a quarterback or offensive lineman. But, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier held fast.

The Miami Dolphins didn’t flinch and grabbed Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick. Despite his season ending hip injury he suffered in November 2019, Tagovailoa has been on the Dolphins radar all year.  Grier said the team felt comfortable with his health. Coach Brian Flores then added that Tagovailoa was the guy they felt at the end of the day would be the best fit for the Dolphins.

After landing their quarterback, the Dolphins went back to work.  Having a left handed quarterback meant that Miami would need a right tackle to protect his blind side. With the 18th pick Miami went with USC tackle Austin Jackson.  Interesting fact, in the summer of 2019 Jackson donated bone marrow to his younger sister. Which already speaks volumes of the young man.

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Dolphins GM Chris Grier speaks draft

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

We are exactly one week away from making NFL history. Not only will the 2020 NFL draft be held virtually without fans in attendance due to health concerns over COVID-19 virus, but the Miami Dolphins (for the first time in team history) hold three picks in the first round.

How will Miami decide to use these picks?  Do they utilize all three picks the first round or do they try and trade down for more picks?

These and many more answers will be answered in one week per Dolphins GM Chris Grier who addressed the Dolphins media today via video conference.

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Miami Dolphins to host virtual Draft Party for fans

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

With the 2020 NFL Draft just a week away, the NFL and the Miami Dolphins are preparing for what could turn out to be a historic night. With growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus, NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, sent memos to all 32 teams in early April stating that the 2020 NFL Draft would proceed to an all-virtual format

This means that teams would need to cancel all fan-related events surrounding the draft.

Fans were looking forward to the draft. They always do. This is the night that, for many teams, could change the face of a franchise.

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A change of colors for two veterans quarterbacks

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

As we begin the 2020 NFL season, a few questions have been answered in regards to several top quarterback spots that were up for grabs.

The first one being that of New England’s future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. For the first time in his entire NFL career, Brady was about to be a free agent. But as we all knew, that didn’t last too long.

AFC East fans rejoiced because Brady, as expected, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians left no question that Tampa Bay would be a top contender in signing the six-time Super Bowl winner. This ended his two-decade stay with the Patriots.

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Quarterback options, Miami Dolphins style

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

The 2020 NFL combine is in full swing, and the Miami Dolphins enter this year’s draft with 3 first-round picks. Yes, I said 3. They will select picks 5, 18, and 26.

As Dolphins brass descended upon Indianapolis, the rumors have already begun to swirl. Dolphins GM Chris Grier has been linked to having several conversations with other GMs around the league about possible trades. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Grier mentioned continuing the process of rebuilding. And let’s be honest, we all know what that means. The Miami Dolphins need a franchise quarterback.

Let’s take a second and discuss the following quarterback options. I’ll start first with the 4 most popular names among Dolphins fans. I’m not going to add Joe Burrows to the list. Unless something catastrophic happens, I have the Bengals selecting him.

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Owners vote yes to new CBA, now heads to NFLPA

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303

The conversations surrounding the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) have brought up two major proposals this week. Changes we could see as early as the 2020 NFL season.

According to multiple sports outlets, there is a proposed a 17-game season instead of the 16 game schedule in place now, and a major change to the playoff system.

The thought of a 17 game season is appealing to some fans, just as long as it comes with the elimination of a preseason game. It is being reported that the majority of the owners are in favor of this and are pushing this forward. While most players have opposed this due to the increased risk to players’ health and safety, that has eased up some due to negotiations in exchange for financial and other concessions for players.

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What’s next for NFL fans? Combine and Free Agency

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303

As we watched the last seconds click off the clock at Hardrock Stadium, which concluded with the Kanas City Chiefs hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy, the 2019 NFL season came to a close.

With that comes the next phase in the football world, the Scouting Combine and free agency. While fans consider this the offseason, for the teams this is where the real work begins.

First up, we have the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. This annual pre-draft evaluation process will begin February 27 – March 1st. Make sure and give our NFL combine reporter Kate Arhar a follow on Twitter.  Kate will be in Indianapolis bringing us all the breaking news and practice coverage.

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